Greenland shark identified as the world’s longest living vertebrate
Q. Which sea creature has been estimated to be the world’s longest living vertebrate with scientists estimating life expectancy at 272 years?- Published on 16 Aug 16
a. Greenland whale
b. Greenland shark
c. Arctic whale
d. Arctic shark
ANSWER: Greenland shark
Greenland shark is the world’s longest living vertebrate with scientists estimating life expectancy at 272 years.
- The Greenland shark is among the largest carnivore sharks in the world with adults reaching more than 5 metres in length.
- The longevity of this shark has intrigued marine biologists for decades now.
- Typically, the age of sharks and rays are determined by counting deposited layers in harder calcified structures such as fin spines.
- Because the Greenland shark is among the biggest carnivorous sharks in the planet which lacks hard structure, this method cannot be used.
- Greenland sharks are the apex predator in the Arctic ecosystem; the researchers analysed the eye lens nucleus of 28 female sharks sampled as accidental by catch during fish and shrimp surveys.
- Researchers measured the radiocarbon content of the lenses from which they could assess age by measuring the data against calibration curves and chronologies indicative of temporal radiocarbon changes in the marine food web in the Northern Atlantic over the past 5 centuries.